Snowy City: When This World Was New

In D.H. Figueredo's When This World Was New Danilito and his parents leave their home in the Caribbean in order to live in America. Danilito is nervous, everything is new and strange. He worries whether his family will be able to have everything they need in the new country.  His Uncle Berto takes the new immigrants to what is to become their home and the next morning, Danilito sees something he never has before: snow. Spending the morning playing in the snow with his father eases some of Danilito's fears and he feels ready to meet his new life.

Figueredo has written a thoughtful tale and the book is pleasant enough. Although the book doesn't stand out for me, if you are tackling issues of diversity and immigration I would certainly include it in your reading. The metaphor of new snow/new world is an obvious one, but it works here. Figueredo also successfully addresses the issue of a child's fears over the meeting of basic necessities.  Enrique O. Sanchez's illustrations are a good match.

Both the island left behind and the city are never named, but we might assume that they are based on Cuba and a city in New Jersey, mirroring the experience of the author as a teenager when he immigrated to the United States. The city certainly feels like something in New Jersey: a suburban-like neighborhood against the nondescript city skyline.

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1 comment:

Raising a Happy Child said...

My daughter could be a boy in the picture - 5 year old and has never seen snow in her life :)

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